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Details | Railroad Poem | |

And This Rain

And This Rain

Your verse became a misty trip to distant links
maybe the reason of sun's dodging was false,
affection left behind the borderlines and brinks
reminds of your ethereal, betrothal pulse.

Our time is still, with eyes to shine, conceived,
so is your company, outside my car to stray,
a fog rescinds while slowly falls, two souls bereaved,
the arbor trees in dusky light, remote sway.

The nightly breeze becomes your touch upon my face,
conducts unknown my course to steady effuse,
our steadfast floats upon the brines that dreams encase,
a summer song of longing stills and souls' bemuse.

How many sentiments a railroad trip ascribes
beyond horizon's borderlines and faded strings,
caressing touch of fingertips by airy brides,
- your Sunday advent will become a bird that sings.

Perchance you are bending softly on my scriptures,
inside a car of an expatriating train,
while I recall on Storrow Drive, your nightly features,
- as we have missed our dreamy summer and this rain.

© 10/9/2011, G. Venetopoulos All rights reseved

Details | Railroad Poem | |

CROSSING THE TRACKS


On this last railroad journey, all’s ablaze
new stars pulse over brows of feathered trees,
and melt their glowing blinks on  night's decrees
flickering through me white solace and haze. 

Quite often, I have rolled the moonlight’s trail
as winds can pierce into my heart and know
my need to pass the crossings of life's flow
until end’s trip, when tracks of wheel travail. 

Much like this ride, I'll walk the endless course
as seen among wayfarers’ eyes dark gold
where swallows chug above to reinforce
the tugging light, far fair, I do behold.



Shadow Hamilton's Railway Journeys Contest
1/12/2015

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Massacred Nation

The year 1890
December 29th
Wounded Knee, South Dakota
My tribe lost their lives

The USS 7th
On their orders so
To round up the Sioux
Railroad herd them and go

Us Lakota were next
To disarm their request
But my cousin Black Coyote
At best he was deaf

Not hearing the orders
To lay down our guns
A chain reaction
Ensued on my tribal ones

Chaos and mayhem
Distressed our grounds
This proud nation
Beaten down

Men, women and children
300 slain
Another reminder
For the white mans gain

To disrespect the fallen
Slows our souls to our gods
We were left in a blizzard
Hardened like logs

In three days we rose
Civilians did lift
And dumped us unceremoniously
In a hole in the drift

My corpse and my peoples
Stripped and robbed
As flakes of snow
Confirm our spirits have sobbed

As i am reborn again
In another country
It gives me the freedom
To look back and see

That December day in 1890
Gunning down innocent ones
Not so mighty
The Medal of Honor
In their distinguished past
The record still stands
On their chests they flash

But attitudes change
As two centuries pass
The Medal Of Honor
Has won back its class
No longer the weak
Gunned down by the strong
Its man against man
Sometimes they do wrong

So as i sit back in my adopted nation
Will i live again past this lives station
Writing the wrongs of modern man
This Lakota warrior who never ran


http://www.thehighlanderspoems.com/native-americans.php

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Runaway Train

The slap of sneakers on concrete,
Fill my ears with hollow sound;
Like my heart it has a beat,
Steady thumps against the ground.
My eyes are wide, to take in any light,
But not many shine in the dark.
I couldnt stand another fight,
Another sharp and mean-cutting remark.
I stop to take a quick bent-over breath;
Soon I'll start again on my run.
This adreniline is like crystal-meth,
It'll keep me going, when I just want to be done.
My eyes open again in the night,
Surveying quickly the world around.
For this action I wont feel contrite,
Otherwise I'd soon be burried in the ground.
My jeans are ripped at the knees,
My shirt-a tanktop of the color black.
This need to get away is like a disease,
With not an urge to ever go back.
The lights shine on the road, a pale yellow-white,
They catch my green-blue frantic eyes.
Even with no one around, my chest squeezes tight;
Afraid that they'll wake up and find me gone, though i never said goodbye.
The railroad is up ahead, right beneath my feet.
I reach out my hand, and feel the Runaway Train.
I have one chance, I cant allow defeat.
Around the handel I toss and loop my thick silver chain,
And pull my self up, up and off the ground;
I keep up and hold on, with one last look behind.
To open the door it only takes one pound,
Then im out of the wind, inside, in the darkness, blind.
For a moment, I have the chance to breathe;
Gone from everything I've known: 
No chance of dysfunctional familys,
No chance of ever knowing home.
Runaway Train, I've runaway,
The night abducts me.
The internal disorder has led me astray;
my mind is clearer, soon youd see.
I had but one choice left,
I chose the Runaway Train...

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Music Take Me Back

When I'm blue and need something to make me smile
I can turn on my forty fives and listen for a while
Jimmy Gilmer sang about a Sugar Shack
Holding hands, walking down that railroad track
Then I let the music take me back.

Take me back to a time when love was new
Take me back to a time when skies were blue
When we could catch that falling star
Make love in the back seat of my car
Music, oh sweet music, take me back

Doo-wop memories touched my soul
Mixed with the early days of rock and roll
I close my eyes and through the haze
I see sunshine and better days
Music take me back to those times again.

There was Bandstand on TV in black and white
Radio on 'til you fell asleep at night
There were dances at the school
And swimming in the community pool
Music take me back, let me remember when.

Did we believe those days would forever last
Were things so much better in the past
I dream of days when a movie
Meant kissing in the balcony
Music take me back, let my heart roam.

It seems like a thousand years ago
We found true love and watched it grow
I know this is where my heart belongs
When I listen to those songs
Music take me back, please take me home.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

The High Line

Elevated railroad tracks
Abandoned long ago
Have been transformed into a place
Where grass and flowers grow.

With benches made of wood or stone
And artwork interspersed,
The desolation and despair
Have all but been reversed.

If visiting the city
Is a plan that you have made
Then walk upon the High Line
And behold what’s there displayed.	

It’s part and parcel of the town
But also quite unique
So stroll the High Line if
A New York feeling’s what you seek.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Lost in Youth

Lost in Youth

Rainbows in the clouds, walking on  railroad tracks , locomotives up close 
Kickball games , I am left footed, spooky reflections in a mirror, running naked 
Wooden desks and chairs, kids in the classroom , the little girl across the street 
Black and white T.V., Air conditioning , a new blue car, exhaust  fumes
The farm, coal fired furnace , warm heating ducts 
a collie , a cocker spaniel and a horse named Thunder
Dark starry nights , telescopes , comets and satellites
Northern winters, snow covered fields ,sledding, frozen lakes , and Orion 
Camping in fields , mosquitoes bites , quiet dawns and heavy morning  dew,  
Grandparents ,riding  lawn mowers , apple trees , flower and vegetable gardens
 Southern Summers , warm muggy nights , ceiling  fans ,open screened windows
Screened in porches, ancient toys, , tiny  transistor radios, baseball games  talking late into the night 
Badminton , side lawns , and long rides home
Public pools , icy waters and underwater swims 
Trombone , marching band and high school football games
Sleepy classes, friends , lunchroom games, and girls 
High school graduation , college and final goodbyes


Details | Railroad Poem | |

Little Blue Bird of Rain

Little Blue Bird of rain.

Rain, rain go away. 
Little Blue Bird of Rain, needs to shine again
In her version the sun dried, up all her tears
Leaving the rain inside the bird.
Destructive past sadden cheers.
Waking up to empty words
When abandoned by her peers.
Just not knowing what had just occurred.

Drowning herself in a life of Jane Doe.
Never know who she really is
When all she loves hanging her lowest moment
The rain brought out Mary-Jane.
As the bird lost its glow.
The rain tricked her once to use Cocaine.
As her feathers met that one Joe.
He broke her wing and brought more Rain.

Very young, very sweet.
Living her life in the fast lane.
Hard for her to stand on her feet.
Balanced her life on one leg, like the crane.
Curtains hang over her wings.
While she let no one near her domain.

While she flies through the heavy rain.
She finds her comfort with a pen.
Using the lords name in vain.
Cursing all her backstabbing friends
With no one around to explain?
All the sorrow left her on a railroad track.
Ending up like the runaway train.
Only she can get her life back.

If for myself I ever felt pain?
I felt more pain at what she wrote about. 
In my face on my left side 
Your poetry comes to life in my head. 
Visions of her wanting to be dead.
Oh! How I wish this life she did not dread.

You hide the tears you shed so well.
A life with balls you cut the chains.
You dam! Your parents to go to hell.
Little Blue Bird of Rain, don't let them fools drive you insane.

Little Blue Bird of Rain.
If a sparrow could show you,
There is more to life than pain.
Under the umbrella the sparrow would cover you.
No one wants to see her colors drain.
What a world to master her feathers into art.
The gift of words runs through her vein

The paintings on her wall.
A dream of a bad seed of grain.
One day our Little Blue Bird will stand tall.
To free herself from all the Rain.


  To: Rain aka- Joy Loveless
Our sweet 16 year old
      P.D.     1-1-10

Details | Railroad Poem | |

North Conway Foliage Train

The very first week of every October
Bright yellow, orange, amber, purple and red
Splash artistry on New Hampshire’s White Mountains
As the tourism season comes to a head

North Conway’s old railroad station is abuzz
Men in traditional conductor attire
Escort sightseers to seats with pane-free windows
To peer out at landscapes in colors of fire

The spectrum on dappled mountains evokes awe
Caught by camera lenses as cool winds blow
Offering a chilly reminder to all
That these peaks will soon be blanketed by snow

Clickety-clack, the train hugs its aged track
Freeze-frame photograph images will remain
Recalling the splendor of fall’s peak foliage
Until spring breathes life to the mountains again 




* Rides on the North Conway train are only offered
in autumn.  Written for the "Fall" contest.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

acoustic chords


Forthcoming maid shall be his bride
along the margin of past years,
they were two distant pioneers,
and floating dreamers on their tide.

Her steady absence - (maybe not)
pristine of thought, adorned the drifts,
away from corals and sea reefs,
- her splendid pride, became his knot.

New vineyards now adorn the rails,
arcane the train, on distance fades,
the northern gusts like cutting blades,
became comrades of lonesome trails.

His railroad trip invites their song,
remote of feasts the paths ascribe,
where agons of passed lives describe
how pride in void expends the wrong.

Denoted moments, College verse,
their distant lives to then direct,
her laughter's threshold to project,
the Springtime fields of blooming thyrse.

Attracts him back where years convey,
her solving of the maths on board,
unique of thoughts his smiles award
and her acoustic chords portray.

© G.V. 07-20-2013 All rights reserved
(Iambic tetrameter)

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Stems - A Greater Harvest

The tags are labels placed on a table.
Beginning with A and ending with Z, the labels placed on the table enables me to readings.
I defeated being judgmental and did not become analytic.
My mind is a schema.

The stems are roots ending.
Argumentative are the colors exploding.
White becomes mixed and black is a misted.
Meaning is that both are within an element.

The bags that I carry appear to be heavy but they are not.
They are held many ways so that my arms will not tire.
I walk with a slight lean to my shoulder because my purse must strap.
I arch upright like a cat.

The stems rooted and garlic is scape.
The railroad track is the shortcut we take.
The blood is enriched and the heart strengthens.
Once grown, he knows life ascertains.

Pulling back the curtains, he views the beautiful garden planted by his beloved mother.
The clothes in this bag I will wash completing my chores for today.
Once done, I will leave to find something to enhance my life.
I feel agitated and I must relax.

Tomorrow will be one of the best days in time.
The stem is a broken root.
It uses or loses its route to new growth.
The knowledge it provides is wisdom to the planter.

                                   The stem asks the question of why did this happen.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

The Dragline

THE DRAGLINE  for Pete Brett 

One hundred foot boom 
 7-½-yard bucket 
The tracks are like 
 Ones on the tracks of a tank
They go chunk clunk and clank  

Arm of the boom swings 
 Far to the left then to right  
Out casts the bucket 
 And drags the rock in 

 Papa pushes the pedals and 
 Pulls the leavers
 Lifts the cranes bucket and 
 Swings the arm in 
 Dumps the rock into
 A pile at quarry
 
Just old black Burt, Bootsie and me
We ride in the donkey a brawny little engine
Careful now Uncle Burt I ‘am heavy as can be
He’d chuckle and let me ring the dingy
 As the donkey pulled all those gondola cars
 to the rock crusher A ring ding-a-ling
 here comes the train ring ding-a-ling, ding-a-ling

Dinner would be with Uncle Red Papa and me
 by the railroad tracks a fire warm 
and perhaps we would see
 Alligator Willy who would stop by to share
 some pickled eggs, sausages and a beer
                                                                                         
 I dance in the night by the light that comes
 from cranes rear window the light that
shines from the top of the boom
                                                                                                             
My stage is a beam of square light
and I dance and I swirl as the 
beam from the top boom does
swing. It’s better than the light from the moon
 
I spin and I dance in an out of
The shadows
I see my papa’s face
Through the crane’s side window’s panel

His arm is out stretched as he
Pushes and pulls
I wave I am tired now

He jumps from the tracks and
 Lifts me back in
His face has wide goofy grin
We share chocolate milk
From a thermos and take
 Orange marmalade Sandwiches wrapped in wax paper
 which were sticky and sweet
 from his Old battered Lunch Pail 

 when my feet were all wet He took off my shoes
 and placed them by Old Mr. Murphy as his engine was called 
 Dry and warm and cozy we’d be
Papa his dog Bootsie and me
 
 Northwest the crane that he ran At Seminole Rock
 he was considered the best Crane operator-man

He worked from dark tell the sand-man
I sleep in an empty dynamite crate
Filled with a string called waste
Used to spread thick grease
by the big diesel engine at the back
of the crane 
He shuts the doors as it’s starting to 
rain

The crane growls and grumbles
and rocks me to and fro
 like in a large giant’s lap 
as I take a nap
in dreams I spin and I dance 
by the light from the boom 
it’s better than the light
 from the moon





Details | Railroad Poem | |

You've Taken Her for Granted


You call her without warning, late one Friday night,
She says “Give me half-an hour…,” and she leaves on the light.
‘Comes the morning after, eggs and bacon, coffee black—
You’ve taken her for granted, but she always takes you back.

She isn’t quite as flashy as those others you prefer,
But like some lonesome boomerang, you return to her.
She’s got old-fashioned compassion, that these “Nineties ladies lack—
You’ve taken her for granted, but she always takes you back.

Could it be that she loves you?
Or else got nothing else to do?
She understands you like a sister—
She’s the best friend that you knew.

Now the twisting road is narrow, when the years come crowding in,
And you look inside your glass, and see the man you might have been.
She’s got two children—she’s got a husband—and you, you’ve got the railroad track,
You’ve taken her for granted, but she always took you back
Until she found somebody new…somebody true.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

A Letter To My Hero

  


November 19, 2001


Dear Doc and Doris,

	It’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you. I believe it was some years ago at the Sims reunion. That was several years before we moved here to Florida after my retirement.

	I talk to Dorothy and W. D. fairly often and got your address from them a couple of months ago.  I also have a recent picture of you that was taken at Mike’s funeral in Marlow.

	I suppose it was something about that picture that caused me to begin reflecting on when I was a kid in Cameron many years ago.  We lived down below the railroad tracks there just south of the jailhouse.  I was just a kid 6 or 7 years old. Then later we moved to Houston where Dorothy and Daddy went to work in the shipyard.  I remember during those years thinking often of my cousin Carl Sims and his brother Melton Sims who were far away fighting the war against the Germans in Europe.  I still have pictures of you somewhere showing you in your uniform.  Doc, I remember how proud I was to tell everyone about my cousins in the army and how I wanted to grow up and be a soldier and fight the Germans.  

	In the last couple of years those memories have been revisited with the release of the movies “Saving Private Ryan” and even more recently, “Band of Brothers.”  Having never experienced the horrors of war, I look upon these two movies as the most realistic presentation of wartime action ever made.  Even at that, I’m sure they haven’t portrayed what it was really like. 

	Doc, I write you now having much more hindsight than when I was an impressionable kid.  But the years have not robbed me of the pride I have in calling you my hero. I think of those years when I was but a child and you, a young soldier. I remember how excited I was to hear any news about my cousins in the army. And I remember the sadness in hearing of Melton being killed in action. 

	Though time has painted a different picture for each of us, those things that linger in our memory can still be seen through the eyes of a child and a young soldier. I look at that recent picture of you and still see my hero. I see a young soldier in uniform and feel the same pride well up inside a young kid in Cameron.  
	
Doc, I wanted you to know these things.  I could have kept them hidden inside my heart and never told anyone.  But, they are mine to do with as I please. And I choose to send them to you and Doris with the love I have for you. As Christians, we know that the love we are sharing in Jesus Christ will be eternal. I believe the respect and admiration I hold you in for what you did will also last forever.  

	Maybe we will get back to Texas one of these days.  If so, I hope to have the time to come by Mexia and see you.  If not, who knows, someday a kid may tug on the sleeve of a young soldier. The young soldier might turn to find a freckle-faced kid, joyful in the presence of his hero.

	Doc, if not before, I’ll see you in Glory. I send you respect and most of all, love.

With eternal admiration,
John

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Summer's End

With brew in hand, I step into a dew laden atmosphere that lies beneath a veil of grey, through which a huge, radiating circle of red rises and burns a hole, allowing the true colors of the day to seep through. Streams of blue, bleed through the green needles of the pines, as I sip my morning coffee and marvel at the crystal pinwheel patterns spun during the night, that now hang from my weather beaten fence. 

In a melancholy breeze, I watch  through cloudy eyes, a few leaves falling from the Crimson Kings, exposing the empty Robin’s nest I watched a Robin build  - it seems - not so long ago, as I wonder through years gone by.

Across the way, where it seems only yesterday, I gazed at green pastures, I now gaze at fields of Queen Ann Lace, Golden Rods, Purple Asters and Scottish Thistles. When did, and how did all this happen? How quickly life goes by!

The sky above me turns black, as a flock of Starlings, swoop and sway and turn as one, before landing in the trees along the railroad track, breaking the silence with their deafening cries of summer's end, as a tear falls from my eye.


Written:  August 30, 2013

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Queen Of The Rails

The engine: Long and black
And sleek as she could be
She shook the earth in her approach
As her heraldry.

An atmosphere of steam and smoke
Expanding in her wake
The Queen-of-the-Rails speeds on
An arrival soon to make.

Massive is her presence
Enormity her design
Power is her excess
This Queen is so refined

Once she ruled with majesty
When o’er the rails she flew
But … now, this one last time,
The railway bids: “Adieu”.

Slowly when she comes to stop
We see she’s thoroughbred
When water, steel and hard, black coal
Within her there are wed.

Her regal-ness resplendent
In fittings’ shining bright
Commanding our respect
O’er the rails of her last flight.

Now sitting at the siding
She’s puffing rhythmic breath
The museum’s destination
Of her life commits its’ theft.

Photographs will mimic
Her image of today
But missing from those photos:
Glories of Yesterday

When o’er the steel she thundered
Demanding from all who saw
Respect for Her grand power
Which held them all in awe.

But Glory, she found, was fleeting
When “progress” came to call
Her future then was set in stone
In the writing on the wall.

Now we hear the brake release …
Her throttle then is moved …
She inches down the shiny track
Where the land with steel is grooved

Then as she gains her speed
And whistles out her “yell”
An announcement for all to hear:
“I know I’ve served you well!”

She’s journeyed through the ages
And a boy – an old man now -
Watches as she fades away -
He waves, then shouts out: “Ciao!”

But in his mind is yesteryear
With his dog there by his side
Watching near the railroad tracks
Where the Queen-of-the-Rails did ride.

And long from now whenever
He says: “Remember when …”
In those times of reverie,
She’ll come alive … again.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

Wrong Way Out

My knees have touched every part of this floor
Not for the satisfaction one would get from acting out a favorite animal position
But more from being dragged around like an animal 
My disposition was no longer sweet

Cuts and bruises covered my feet
I tried to run
Even tried jumping out the window
Since luck spared me from being thrown from it yet

But every attempt failed
I was jailed
I placed my hands  on the glass
Clear for the world to see
In hopes that someone, anyone
Would save me

Each day I placed another blood stained hand print  on the window
Passerby must have thought I was an artist
Red turkey decorations 
In the middle of summer?
They must have thought it weird 
As they just looked and passed by

My cries were heard only by me
Numerous phone calls made to the police
One time too many, I guess
Because their visits ceased

I was advised to file an Order of Protection
Since the police themselves couldn’t offer protection
My mind was boggled with the thought of useless police
With such closed minds and biased beliefs

It was my fault for being in the situation I was in
Thanks a lot to those women  
Who deceitfully mirrored my pain,
Willfully brought shame to  my name 
For women, they are insane
For thinking this is a game

I am a woman
And because of that
I get  choked with
The insanity cloak
From the first mention of domestic violence
I was so sick and tired of
My pleas for help
Being  greeted with silence

The first chance I got 
I filed an Order of Protection
Thinking this was my underground railroad to freedom

Just to think
I survived through all the punching, slapping, pushing
Rapes and threats
Just to have this order of so-called protection
Place the highest bet 
On my life

I made it under ground and realized
The grass is greener on the other side

But why did I have to die?

Details | Railroad Poem | |

A Railroad Town

The diesel locomotive wailed Like a sick bull as it approached The intersection; five bellows. The dreaded traffic light turned red And all of us just sat waiting For this snail-like, slow-moving Freight train to pass, while the traffic was backing up to infinity. Life becomes a standstill in time: If your appendix burst, pray to god; If you’re in labor, tough titty; If late for work, you curse and swear! So you wait and count the freight cars... One hundred one…one hundred two… Onward west they roll Swaying, screeching, click-clanking Along rusty tracks.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

The Thunderous Wonderous Electric Toy Train

It was shiny and bright sitting under the tree.
There were other things there, but that's all I could see:
a Lionel toy train on a circular track!
The caboose was maroon and the engine was black.

And to top it all off on this fine Christmas day,
was an engineer's cap that I donned right away.
I had deadlines to make and my job couldn't shirk,
so I rolled up my sleeves, and went straight to my work.

Utilizing impressive construction techniques,
I made Tinker Toy tunnels through newspaper peaks.
With an engine, a caboose, and three railroad cars,
I would ride to the moon and haul back the stars!

It sputtered and sparkled and went round and around
with a clickety clackety sonorous sound,
and an oily ozony odoriferous tang:
the thunderous wonderous electric toy train!

And then Daddy and I had to go out for bread,
and to pick up the big Sunday paper he read.
We're just about home when there was flashing of red...
and the crossbars dipped down at the railroad ahead.

As the freight train slowed up, I could clearly divine
the big engineer's head with a cap just like mine!
We dismounted and yelled, and I signed him three yanks.
He gave me three toots - and I waved back my thanks.

With my engineer's cap and my blue overalls,
I was dressed in a style to give anyone pause!
I had grand places to go and marvels to see...
but Mommy had my breakfast all ready for me.

It sputtered and sparkled and went round and around
with a clickety clackety sonorous sound,
and an oily ozony odoriferous tang:
the thunderous wonderous electric toy train!


Details | Railroad Poem | |

Silver Streak

All aboard the Rhode Island Line!
We're guaranteed to be on time
Grab your suitcase, grab your coat
Be a tourist, coast to coast
Write a postcard, you will boast
about what you've seen up close!

Let's make the traffic wait
stuck behind  a crossing gate
Boxcars, hoppers, and sleeping cars
strung together, and going far
rumbling down the railroad track

Don't bother looking back
Up the slippery slope
Engine takes the lead
Picking up some speed

Convoluted smoky trails
Consolidated silver tails
Contemplating railroad tales 

Whistles blast!
Whizzing past!

Gone!




______________________________________
10/17/14  For Andrea's "I Don't Know" Contest

Details | Railroad Poem | |

enjoy the life you're given!

poor Walter Jacobs, a wretched soul was he
one day he said he had enough, then hung himself from a tree!

the tree was old and brittle, its branches gloomy and dead,
which snapped like a fragile twig, as Walter fell on top of his head! 

from the tallest building in town, he decided to make a jump,
he landed on a construction scaffold, which made a loud..."KA-THUMP!!"

he grabbed an old revolver, one that he swiped from his mother,
the bullet passed through his empty skull, one ear and out the other!

he laid across some railroad tracks, silent as an unspeakable mime,
wouldn't you know that train had stopped, just in the nick of time!

a bottle of sleeping pills didn't do the trick!
he barfed like a volcano, they only made him sick!

he drove his car off a bridge, such a stupid plan he hatched,
he walked away unscathed, without a single scratch!

he set himself on fire, but the flames quickly died
all he lost were the hairs on his butt, which badly singed his pride!

one day Walter said to himself,..."life ain't so bad, what the heck!"
just then he tripped over his sleeping cat, and broke his freakin' neck!

a moral behind this writing? i knew you'd quickly ask!
no one said life was easy, each day's a difficult task!

death's beyond the horizon, time passes all too fast,
life's with us for only a moment, slow down and make it last!...



Details | Railroad Poem | |

Railroad Boy

Where have all the cabooses gone,
Red slab sided, cupola, curved roof, 
Friendly stove pipe hat, every kids wish,
Moveable tree house clickety-clacking
Cozily rolling across America
Snappy visored cap, brass buttons
Blue coat, wind whipped leaning out
One hand on the stanchion
Waving an all clear lantern, nights shining arc
Then crack, all along the line each
Snapping to attention each car in its turn
With a rattle rattle, huff and puff
Away it roars into childhood.
A memory of something important,
Those years gone like borrowed money
And now the dollars have all been spent
But the secret stays in the heart                                                                                An ancient fondness now focused
A connection across the years
Tears and a smile for that railroad boy

Details | Railroad Poem | |

A Sign

The madman chalked red X’s
on the sidewalks of the houses 
if he suspected 
or had evidence
that people there 
were unkind to each other, 
or their dogs.

When he was a young man,
he studied hobo signs 
chalked on railroad cars, mailboxes, fences, 
buildings in barn yards, 
in towns he probed.
Signs that said “doubtful”, “mean dog”, 
“be ready to defend yourself”, 
“dirty jail”, or “nothing doing here” 
sent him away
or might draw him closer 
to investigate.

He was a harvest hobo, 
following the crops in the West.
Once beaten senseless, and left to die in a Fresno alley. 
They laughed when they punched and kicked him, 
stealing his knapsack and his kit. 
The beating injured his brain.
He was never the same. 
He lost all inhibitions and good judgment. 

He couldn’t remember what rows to pick
when he picked grapes in Visalia 
and oranges in Porterville. 
He lost track of time, and had to write everything down. 
He made little sketches so he could find his way 
back to his box under the railroad bridge. 
At night, he played his harmonica 
until he dropped into dreams of his days as a boy 
or his job with the city.

He dreamt of the beautiful woman that gave him
a whole pie when he begged for food at her door. 
He dreamt of the old, black man that looked into his eyes for a long time before tears 
came. 

The old man saw himself in his eyes. 
He saw a man with even less than himself, 
and it was more than he could endure. 

The hobo impressed the dirt path 
in front of the man’s simple cottage 
with a new mark – a mark never seen before. 
It was an austere eye, 
a large tear in both corners, 
made with polished pebbles 
and shells he carried in his pack.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

The Train Don't Come By

Old wooden benches covered in dust
Windows broken, some glass on the floor
I long for a seven day ride on the rails
But the train don't come by here no more
Those days are gone when the railroad was king
And you could hear that whistle each night
I still jump on board in my nostalgic dreams
Riding that freight train clean out of sight
Summer days, I walk along the old tracks
Where the blueberries are still growing wild
While I'm walking I daydream about
The days when I was a child
I walk by the station and think back to the days
When passengers rode by the score
I'd like one time to take a seven day ride
But the train don't come by here no more.

Details | Railroad Poem | |

American Osmosis

American Osmosis Jamestown was the source of this Movement that swept across the continent At first the ships were left behind And people used what they could find A mule, an ox, a Percheron Whatever they could sit upon They loaded up and west they went Some went north and some went south They filled the land e're which they went The Louisiana Purchase was the big event That sealed America’s destiny Soon the country was spilling westward To be the first to make a print Where no one else ever went They hoped for happiness as their destiny The Donners never did find any There were others rushed by gold With hopes of riches they would hold But mostly what the immigrants found Was this great nation which was bound To fill her borders sea to sea With citizens like you and me We owe thanks to Conestoga and Civil War Beaver hats and railroad cars Pulled behind the great iron horse Of muskets bore and coon skin caps Horses and cattle and leather chaps Cowboys, six guns and barbed wire fences Rangers, Marshals and bar maid glimpses Pony Express and long coach rides Wagon loads of buffalo hides And the Indians who gave their homes Of mountains and prairies where bison roamed To live among us brave and bold Absorbed by the manifest destiny told Of the American Osmosis